Roller coaster accident injures 10 in Scotland

  • 27/06/2016
The aftermath of the roller coaster accident (CBS)
The aftermath of the roller coaster accident (CBS)

Eight children and two adults were taken to hospital after a roller coaster derailed and crashed at a Scottish theme park.

Witnesses said the Tsunami ride at the M&D amusement park in Motherwell was full of riders when it came off the track on Sunday, with police saying the carriages fell less than six metres to the ground.

Police, firefighters and paramedics rushed to the scene as several visitors posted images on social media appearing to show a mangled carriage on a pathway surrounded by dozens of people.

Those injured were taken to nearby hospitals, but details on their injuries and conditions have not been released.

One witness, Katie Burns, said she had just finished riding on the Tsunami when the carriage crashed to the ground.

"Literally got off the Tsunami at M&Ds and then walking past and the next lot of people get on and the full thing goes off the tracks. Kids and adults are still on it upside down, it's like something out a horror film, children crying and everything," she wrote on Facebook.

A video posted on social media showed the confused aftermath of the crash.

Chief Inspector David Bruce said the five gondolas connected on a train on the ride had detached from the rails, struck the superstructure and then hit the ground.

"They (the gondolas) fell less than 20 feet (6m)," he said.

"It would appear that they have been coming round a bend and at that point it has detached. It's an inverted rollercoaster which means that the riders hang in gondolas below the rails rather than sit above them."

The speed of the rollercoaster was travelling was not immediately known, Chief Inspector Bruce said, but the theme park's website says it travels at around 64km/h through corkscrew turns and loops.

Another photo posted on social media shows people trapped upside down in their seats, with their legs protruding into the air.

"My thoughts are with everyone involved in this terrible incident at M&D's theme park, especially those injured," Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said.

This is not the first incident for the theme park.

Nine passengers were stranded 18 metres above the ground for more than eight hours in July 2011 when a ride's lift chain broke causing its safety systems to bring the carriages to a halt.

In March this year a cherry picker rescued eight people after another rollercoaster stopped working around six metres off the ground.